Don’t let me progress too much.
Acts 24:6 “He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect and even tried to desecrate the temple; so we seized him.”
The only time Christians are referred to as Nazarenes is here in this accusation of Paul being the leader of the Nazarene sect. The word sect at that time meant simply a group that has divided from something, namely Judaism.
So what was the Nazarene sect?
They were not Jews because they held to Jesus the Nazarene being the Messiah.
They were not Christians as we know it now because they held to the Laws of the Torah, to circumcision, Sabbaths etc.
They were persecuted.
They fled Jerusalem just before its fall in AD70 and spread but declined in number as the ‘Church’ distanced itself from their original beliefs and practices.
Evolution is a beautiful thing. To see generations of development from an original creation whether in works or thought is amazing. We are thankful for the development within the medical fields, look how far advanced we have become?!
But don’t you ever feel the pull back to the beginning, even only a couple of generations where the Christian belief and practice seemed sterner perhaps, maybe too legalistic for today, yet clearer, unmuddled and simple? Have we progressed too far?
Distance isn’t always a good thing. Development isn’t always right though we are told it is. We think what we have now is what Paul had and what Jesus had, it isn’t. Yet we say we are influenced by Paul and we follow Jesus the Nazarene. But do we?
Today I am conflicted. Do I run forward or turn back?
Today a colleague and friend begins a fast and his action reminds me that the practices of old are still essential for today.
Let me grow but let me not break from the foundation of my faith. Let the house I build compliment the foundation. Let me not progress too much.